LIVE BLOG: Hawaii 15, Pepperdine 8
Stuck at work or without a radio? We got you covered for today’s series opener between Hawaii (4-5) and Pepperdine (4-4). The ‘Bows start a tough two-week road trip against the Waves, who were one win away from advancing to the College World Series a year ago. UH leads the overall series 10-4. The teams split a four-game series at Les Murakami Stadium last season.
Stephen Ventimilia, 2B (.292, 3 2bs, 3b, 5 runs)
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.190, 2b, 3 runs)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.306, 2 2bs, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.414, 2b, 7 runs, 7 RBIs)
Jordan Richartz, DH (.227, 2b, 5 runs, 5 RBIs)
Alex Sawelson, 3B (.207, 2b, 5 runs)
Alan Baldwin, LF (.364, 2b, 5 RBIs)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.278, 2 2bs, 6 RBIs)
Matt LoCoco, RF (.074, 2 runs)
RHP Tyler Brashears (1-1, 4.38 ERA, 12 1/3 IP, 8 K)
It’s worth noting that Sheldon-Collins is back in the lineup at shortstop after missing two games with a shoulder injury. Aliviado’s three home runs currently rank him 12th in the country. UH also ranks fourth in Division I with 12 successful sacrifice bunts.
Brandon Caruso, RF (.167, 2b, 3b, HR, 5 runs)
Hutton Moyer, 2B (.345, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs)
Aaron Barnett, DH (.355, 3 2bs)
Brad Anderson, 1B (.107, 2b)
Jack Ross, LF (.214, 3 runs)
Chris Fornaci, 3B (.300, 2 2bs, 6 runs)
Kolten Yamaguchi, C (.222, 2b)
Manny Jefferson, SS (.250, 2b, HR, 6 RBIs)
Matt Gelalich, CF (.125)
RHP Max Gamboa (1-0, 2.25 ERA, 4 IP, 2 K)
Yamaguchi, a 2011 Konawaena graduate, gets his third start of the season with the normal starter at catcher, Barnett, hitting DH.
TOP 1: Aliviado extends his hitting streak to six games with a two-out single back up the middle but Gamboa gets two strikeouts looking as Ramirez stares at a 3-2 pitch on the corner to end the inning.
BOTTOM 1: Moyer with a one-out single. After Barnett pops out to left, Moyer swipes second and moves to third on a throwing error by Ka’aua, who threw wide of the bag at second. Anderson is down 0-2 and fights off a tough pitch before sending a single back up the box to make it 1-0. 20-pitch inning for Brashears.
TOP 2: Richartz jumps on the first pitch from Gamboa and just misses a home run as it bounces off the wall in left-center for a leadoff double. Sawelson’s struggles continue as he strikes out on a ball in the dirt. He’s now hitless in his last 15 at-bats. Baldwin pops out to center for the second out, but Ka’aua rips a first-pitch single through the hole between short and third and Richartz scores. Ka’aua takes second on the throw. LoCoco is hit by an 0-1 slider on the foot to bring up Ventimilia, who grounds out to the pitcher. UH aggressive early in the count as Gamboa threw only 12 pitches (11 strikes).
By my count Ka’aua is now 5-for-7 with two doubles and five RBIs with runners in scoring position this season.
BOTTOM 2: Nice seven-pitch inning for Brashears, who sets the Waves down in order.
BOTTOM 3: Aliviado makes a great diving grab in left-center for the first out. He misses a dive attempt on the next play as Caruso triples to center. Relay throw from Ventimilia gets away from Sawelson at third and goes out of play, allowing Caruso to score. Barnett with a two-out single past Ventimilia at second and Anderson just destroys a 2-1 pitch to left field for a two-run homer. 4-1 Waves.
TOP 4: Gamboa gets a little wild here in the fourth as Sawelson walks. Baldwin puts down a bunt and beats it out for a base hit. Ka’aua up and he draws a walk to load the bases with one out for LoCoco, who is 2-for-27 at the plate this year. LoCoco is hit with a 3-2 pitch to force in a run. Ventimilia is ahead 3-1 as Gamboa and Yamaguchi meet at the mound. Next pitch is grounded to second for an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Remember that one. 17 of Gamboa’s 25 pitches were balls.
BOTTOM 4: Leadoff double for Fornaci to right-center as Pepperdine is getting good contact against Brashears, who has given up five hits. Yamaguchi flies out to right on the next pitch. Jefferson fouls out to third on the next pitch as Pepperdine continues to hack away at first pitches. Gelalich flies out to center and Brashears gets out of it. Waves strand a leadoff double as Brashears with his second seven-pitch inning.
TOP 5: Aliviado draws a one-out walk and an error by the third baseman allows Richartz to reach first with two outs. Two on for Sawelson, who hits a 2-0 pitch to third for the fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Austin Bernard came in to replace Moyer at second defensively to start the fifth. Moyer has been their best hitter. Not sure what’s up with that.
BOTTOM 5: Caruso singles up the middle to lead off and Barnett finds a spot just out of the reach of Ventimilia for a one-out single to put runners on first and second for Anderson, who has owned Brashears so far. Brashears stays in after a visit from Trapasso. Third error for UH as Sheldon-Collins bobbles a grounder that could have been two. Ross with the slow roller to second and Ventimilia gets him at first but a run comes in. Foul pop behind the bag at first and Ventimilia makes a running catch to end the inning. 71 pitches for Brashears.
TOP 6: Baldwin smashes a 3-2 pitch deep over the wall in left-center for his first career home run. Solo shot makes it 5-3. The two unearned runs are the difference in the game right now. Ka’aua is hit with the next pitch and then Gamboa hits LoCoco, who was trying to bunt. Fourth hit batter by Gamboa. LoCoco has been hit all three times he’s come to bat. That’s it for Gamboa as Pepperdine goes to the bullpen. Michael Perri in for Gamboa. Ventimilia drops a bunt and Yamaguchi is slow with it to first. Infield single for Ventimilia loads the bases. Sheldon-Collins hits a 1-0 pitch into center deep enough for a sacrifice fly to score Ka’aua. It’s a one-run game with Aliviado up. And Aliviado gets hit with a pitch and the bases are loaded again. Ramirez with the base hit up the middle, LoCoco in, Ventimilia races home and Hawaii leads 6-5. Big two-run single for Ramirez, who continues to just hit, hit, hit. Richartz ahead 2-0 and he CRUSHES a fastball deep to left. It’s gone. Three-run homer for Richartz makes it 9-5 ‘Bows. Seven runs in here in the inning with only one out. Another pitching change for Pepperdine.
Jordan Qsar in to pitch for the Waves and Sawelson greets him with a bullet to right for a base hit on the first pitch. UH really swinging it. The ‘Bows have batted around as Baldwin is back up to the dish. He got things going with the home run to start the inning. Baldwin strikes out and Ka’aua is hit by a pitch. Wow. UH’s 8 and 9 hitters are a combined 1-for-1 with a walk and five HBPs until LoCoco pops out to short. 12 batters come to the plate in a seven-run sixth as Hawaii leads 9-5.
BOTTOM 6: Long half inning for Brashears to wait and he’s taken out. Matt Valencia on in relief. Valencia
Brashears’ final line: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. UH will take it but the ‘Bows will need more from their No. 1 guy.
Valencia freezes Yamaguchi with a breaking ball for a strikeout. He gives up a two-out walk to the nine-hole hitterbut strikes out Caruso to end it. We go to the seventh.
TOP 7: Kitaoka pinch hits for Ventimilia to start the seventh. Just a four-run lead for UH. Not sure it’s empty the bench time yet. Wonder if he’s OK. It works out though as Kitaoka singles into left field. Sheldon-Collins swings away instead of moving the runner over and flies out to right. Aliviado reaches on an error by the second baseman. Second error for the Waves. Ramirez with a base hit to right and Kitaoka scores from second. Third RBI and second hit for Ramirez. Richartz battles back from 0-2 to draw a walk and the bases are loaded again. Another pitching change. Evan Dunn in the game and his funky sidearm delivery gives Sawelson problems as he strikes out. Baldwin hits a rope but right at the centerfielder.
BOTTOM 7: Little bit of danger here as Bernard singles off the glove of Sawelson at third and Barnett draws a four-pitch walk to open the inning. Now a wild pitch moves the runners up. Anderson walks and the bases are loaded with nobody out. Nick Costello will pinch hit for Ross. Costello is 4-for-11 so far this season. UH now goes to the bullpen as Valencia is out. Culp in. Costello with a single to right-center and one run is in as the tying run comes to the plate with nobody out. Fornaci with a ball back to the pitcher who goes home for one out. Ka’aua down to first and they get the 1-2-3 double play. Huge play. 3-2 pitch is popped up to first and Ramirez grabs it in foul ground to end the inning. UH avoids disaster there. Another great job by Culp, who has been outstanding this year.
A check of the record book shows LoCoco is the first UH player ever to be hit by a pitch three times in one game. UH has tied the school record of six hit batters in one game.
TOP 8: An error on the shortstop allows Ka’aua to reach base and Kitaoka gets his second hit of the game to score Ka’aua from second to make it a five-run game. Eight straight balls now by Dunn as Sheldon-Collins and Aliviado walk to load the bases for Ramirez. Dunn stays in and uncorks a wild pitch to bring in Kitaoka as all of the runners move up. Ramirez with a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Sheldon-Collins. 13 runs now for UH. Make that 15 as Richartz does it again! He homers deep to left to make it 15-6. Holy smokes. Three home runs in the game for UH.
UH with three homers in one game for the first time since March 13, 2011 against Portland.
BOTTOM 8: Jeremy Goldenetz with a pinch hit single to score Jefferson, who led off with a double. Pepperdine emptying the bench. Goldenetz scores on a wild pitch to make it 15-8 as Culp is still in. Crazy game.
Pepperdine freshman Bo Coolen, son of UH softball coach Bob, is on in the ninth to make his collegiate debut. Coolen gives up a one-out walk but that’s it. Bottom of the ninth we go.
Couple of quick notes: Hawaii hasn’t won its opening road game of the season since 2009. Richartz is the first UH player with two homers in the same game since Collin Bennett on May 11, 2012.
UH wins 15-8. Richartz 3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBIs; Baldwin HR; Ramirez 2-5, 4 RBIs. Brashears (2-1) the win. 13 hits for UH. Most runs scored since a 17-0 win over New York Institute of Technology last May.
Aloha & mahalo 4 posting, NO UH sports coverege on the east coast : ( hb
any reason Ka’aua isn’t being moved up in line up? maybe not huge power threat, but seems consistent (other than the called strike three the other week).
Still early in the season (just 18 at-bats for Ka’aua so far) but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him move up soon, especially if Sawelson continues to struggle.